Thursday, June 30, 2011

Geneva tour (Day 8 of Chan Brothers Europe Travel)

Today, our tour group was headed for Geneva for the morning instalment of our tour, which is known to be the hub for many World Organizations. From Lucerne, we travelled for 4 straight hours before reaching Geneva. We alighted from our coach and took photos at the United Nation Organization headquarters. There was a large structure of a chair which was an interesting sight. “Broken Chair” is constructed of 5.5 tons of wood and is 12 metres (39 feet) high. It symbolises opposition to land mines and cluster bombs, and acts as a reminder to politicians and others visiting Geneva.

It was another hot day and thereafter we proceeded to dine at a Thai Chinese restaurant. Thanks to the arrangement of the tour agency, throughout the tour, we had a sprinkling of Asian cuisine here and then throughout our Europe tour.

After the lunch, we boarded the coach and in under 5 minutes, we reached Geneva Lake. The vicinity at Geneva Lake was relaxed and splendid. We watched in awe at the Jet d'Eau , the large fountain of the lake which jets out 500 litres of water per second to an altitude of 140 metres.

Also interesting was a flower clock made of real flowers nearby. I appreciate the other tour mates for helping to take photos of my wife and I against the beautiful backdrop of the water fountain and the flower clock.

Next, we proceeded to a Rolex building selling Rolex watches of course. The building also sells other souvenirs and items. My Dear and I hesitated for some time before buying a pair of Swatch watches. I bought the Swatch watches for the sentimental value which is immeasurable and invaluable. The price of the Swatch watches is the same as those in Singapore. But with the watches, I can proudly tell others that the Swatch watch I am wearing was bought in its country of origin: Switzerland in the future!

Okay, finally after a last minute French shopping and doing the French tax procedure, we returned to our coach and this was the time we said we will come back to Switzerland one day for now we would be heading to France!

Another 4 hours were spent in the tour coach: sleeping, taking photographs of the scenery, watching the video tape of the tour manager and chatting with the oldest and wisest tour member. We reached the Swiss-French custom and getting through the custom was a cliché though we were advised not to take any photos of the custom.

DJohn was the name of the French town we would be putting up our accommodation in. Along the way, we saw lovely yellow sight of the trademark Mustard of DJohn. Our tour group dined in a classic French restaurant, dining on some noodles and very sweet desserts for dinner.

I could not forget the scene that greeted us after we exited from the restaurant. It was close to sunset and the whole little idyllic street was bathed in a very original shade of orange-yellow. It was postcard-perfect!

Novotel DJohn Sud was a 2-storey little hotel our tour group would be putting up for the night. As told by the tour manager, our tour group had packed the things needed for tonight in a small bag on the night before as it would be very troublesome to lug the luggage up the staircases (there is no lift) in the hotel.

Tomorrow, we would reach Paris, the last stop of our Europe tour!